Thursday, April 21, 2016

Charlie Baker: Commonwealth Man of Mystery

By A. Lawrence Lowell
State House Correspondent

What's the secret of Gov. Charlie Baker's apparently immense popularity?  According to State House insiders, it's his cultivation of an intoxicating air of mystery, most recently exemplified by his refusal to support legislation that would outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.

It's not that he actually supports the kind of bigotry that has stained the reputation of North Carolina and sent bankrupt mouth-breather Curt Schilling to the showers.  It's just that he doesn't like to take a position on pending legislation, he claims.

This air of inscrutability and its seductive effects on Massachusetts voters have frustrated legislative leaders, who have decided to mount an effort to see if they can get Baker to take a position on any legislation at all.  For example, Rep. James T. “Jimmy” Burke (D – Old Sludgebury) has filed legislation to double the state income tax to 10%.  According to Burke, the Governor's Office has said it will “study” the legislation if, as, and when it passes the Great and General Court.

Gov. Baker's refusal to take a position has angered the veteran rep, who has responded by introducing an array of bills designed to provoke a reaction from the wily Governor.  Thus far, according to Burke, the Governor has remained resolutely neutral on legislation that would

  • make the New York Yankees the state baseball team;

  • build a thousand-bed detox facility in Swampscott;

  • declare General Electric an “evil empire;”

  • impose a 25% sales tax on white bread and mayonnaise;

  • build a car wash in Harvard Yard; and

  • replace the Sacred Cod with a statue of Whitey Bulger

Even the Governor's allies in the Republican Party are tiring of Gov. Baker's bottomless reserves of detachment.  In response to the Governor's staunch opposition to decriminalizing marijuana, Rep. S. S. “Tosser” Pierce (R – Athol) filed a bill that would treat Scotch like pot, thereby outlawing its sale.

Rep. Pierce, a Harvard roommate of the Governor's, may have struck a nerve.  Today the Governor's Office released a statement stating “this time Tosser's gone too far.”

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